Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Terry Pratchett invented a whole new world in the Multiverse. It's disc-shaped, and it's in the backs of four giant elephants who in turn are on the back of a huge turtle, A'Tuin. Magic is very strong there. Wizards graduate from Unseen University in the capital, Ankh-Morpork. Witches such as Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax harness the magic in more everyday ways. The early books feature a wizard called Rincewind, and The Luggage, made of sapient pearwood. Don't cross it - it might swallow you up and you'll never be seen again.
The Librarian at Unseen University is an orangutan (he got changed by a stray spell, and found it useful for getting around and reaching the high shelves. DON'T call him a monkey!
Basically, the Discworld is Earth with a twist. Leonard of Quirm is the local equivalent of Leonardo Da Vinci, Trolls, Dwarves, Vampoires, Werewolves and all manner of non-people...er...people its lands. It's incredibly inventive and very funny. People all over the world read it in their tens of millions in all sorts of translations. YOU CAN READ IT IN THE ORIGINAL ENGLISH! Start at the beginning with The Colour of Magic, and don't miss Equal Rites. The eighth son of an eighth son is born a wizard, and the staff entitling the bearer to an education at Unseen University is handed over before there's been a check - and of course it's a girl.
Death is a character in himself, with his horse, Binky. He speaks in capitals, but only the dead can hear him.
If I never do anything else, I'll have done a great service if I convert just one of you to the works of this talented and very funny writer.
Next stop The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith.
Friday, August 04, 2006
We deal with the dead, there's no way around it. Today I've been up at the Family Records Centre looking up death registration details and ordering death certificates, along with the marraige certificate of a cousing dead 15 years. There's no evidence his wife has died, so my next task is to try and trace her. She'll be in her 80s.
This is a photo of my parents' wedding in 1939. Everyone in it is now dead, except the children who are my cousin June and her brother George, who is the unlucky soul with the lung tumour.
For those of you in the UK, I got the Hallmark Newsletter today, with a chance to win a LOCI DVD boxed set if I went to - wait for it - www.hallmarkchanel.co.uk. Surprisingly, this did not link to either Hallmark's website, nor one for expensive designer perfume...
So I went to www.hallmarkchannel.co.uk and guess what? Nowhere to win a LOCI DVD set in sight. The link to drama programmes had a LOCI photo, but didn't have any blurb about it, and the "Contact us" link had no way to say it was LOCI and not L&O nor SVU, which were listed separately.
Are we being sidelined, ladies? Surely not"!
Thursday, August 03, 2006
And he's not got much less hair at the roots here than he had in FMJ. I'm not a fan of bald-dom, so I'm well relieved.
I mean, look at the hairline here and compare it to the shaven head above. Some hair is certainly combed forward. But we and Vincent have had a break. He doesn't appear to have receded more than a centimetre or two in the intervening years.
Well, what do you have in the cupboard under the stairs? I needed to find space to put back my vacuum cleaner and shopping trolley, which have lived in the dining room for a couple of years. Now I can't get into the dining room to get to them, so it's action stations.
A new, bigger house would be a bonus, but unlikely unless I win the lottery. Anyway, I like the neighbours, and the area is so full of the necessaries for life - transport, shops, street market - that I would only move away to go to a country retreat. Plus the unresolved planning application would put potential buyers off.
I have tossed out several pieces of carpet, a cat play stand, and the lid of a long-broken cat litter tray. Two large tins of paint are going into the new shed, along with a dustpan and brush and a single-use barbecue.
Next stop the dining room. Then -gasp - the study!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Nice to know that the money lost by idiots can go to a good cause, such as the endangered species breeding programme.
The baby meerkats were really up close. They are tiny - like mice. Yet they scrabble around in the dirt trying to be like the grown-ups, all the time making little squeaky peeps. Never in all my life have I seen anything so cute.
The two youngest tigers were very fond of the keeper, running to the wire when he called, and rubbing round his hand through the wire. The keepers are no longer allowed to go in with the big cats after they are 18 months old for health and safety reasons. The big Siberian tiger at Howletts, Balkash, said by the keeper who raised him to be the biggest tiger he has ever seen (and the Siberian are the biggest tiger species anyway, so Balkash is probably the biggest tiger in the world) killed a keeper, probably without intent, but by dint of his sheer size and power. It was a case of, follow the regulations or close down. Keepers who worked there particularly for the contact left at that time.
These two young Barbary lions are only three years old. The female was injured when a tiny cub, and now has a rather shambling gait. There was a time when they thought she would never walk, but physio from her keeper and some aqua therapy gave her back some use of her injured front leg, and a scan revealed an unknown spinal injury from the early bite that pushed her spine against her spinal cord, giving her knock-knees at the back. She has 60% use of her limbs, but the experts say she could have 80% if only she were not a drama queen. She had so much early contact with humans she doesn't believe she should be in with the lions, but she has taken to her boyfriend, who though aggressive with the keeper she loves, is gentle with her. She has been deemd fit to breed, and has in fact given birth and try to care for a cub, but sadly it was stillborn. Now she's getting ready to breed again.
Barbary Lions are extinct in the wild.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
They did it!
Hallmark decided to screen LOCI Season 4 so that some of it clashes with my trip to Canada! It starts on August 9th, and is on every weeknight.
I NEVER GO AWAY. HOW CAN THEY PICK THIS ONE TIME OUT OF THE LAST 35 YEARS TO STITCH ME UP THIS WAY?
I love Bobby, TRUE.
Happy-go-lucky and in love.
Aren't we lucky that so much of his younger life is available to us in cute pictures? Special thanks to Eliza.
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07/30 - 08/06
- Terry Pratchett and the Discworld novels
- ...and Tomorrow
- Family Historians are Ghouls
- Not a comb-over, then
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- Pelham! Yay!
- Another Zoo
- Pretty young boy
- When I was cute
- These Lips Were Made For Kissing
- The Beatles
- Anyone for more legs?
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